Thursday, November 24, 2005

The End of an Era - Drucker Dies

If there is one person I can claim to have read, followed and learnt from is Peter Drucker. He is thinker extraordinaire.

Sadly, Dr. Drucker died on Nov 11th 2005 at the ripe old age of 95. I feel a sense of sadness as I have been his fan for a long time now. I feel as if a dear one has died.

Drucker is hailed by many as the "father of management". the Economist recently wrote that he is " one management thinker every educated person should read".

Of the 40 odd books he wrote I own atleast 18 of them. I am a big fan of Peter. Whatever I have learnt about management, my princilples, the thinking patterns, the big picture ideas have come from him. If not for him, I would not be what I am.

For me. Drucker is the one person everybody should read. Not only has written widely, he has a big heart and a continous view on the long-term, history and big picture stuff. Above all Drucker shows the "direction", he is the "compass", he talks a lot about "effectiveness" and it is upto us to find the tools to get that done.

Doing my MBA I miss reading him. I am surprised that my Uni does not suggest his books at all. Very strange. The MBA is full of tools and stuff. Somehow learning tools would make a smarter decision maker.

Drucker shows the way - the path to take. Tools will help us get there faster, better, easier etc.

If you have not read him, please do read him. I re-read him every time I come across a problem and find new ideas. He will be missed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Accounting Course

The accounting course is going fine. We are done with the financial accounting part of it where we were taught the various rations. However, I am dissapointed till now with the course. The Prof did not get into how to use the actual analysis on a company but rather gave some spreadsheets etc which we can get anywhere on the Net.

Now he has moved into Management Accounting which is all about costing and how to generate internal reports for startegy etc.

I am working on a group project to analyse a company called Boral Ltd. from a shareholder's perspective. This is first project in the course where I do not have a clue on where I am going.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Ratan Tata's Interview

If there is one Corporate head that I absolutely respect in India it is Rata Tata, the Chairman of the TATA group in India.

A recent McKinsey Interview with him tells us more about him.

Some excerpts:

companies that are not good corporate citizens—that don't hold to standards and that allow the environment and the community to suffer—are really criminals in today's world

What I feel most proud of is that we have been able to grow without compromising any of the values or ethical standards that we consider important. And I am not harping on this hypocritically. It was a major decision to uphold these values and ethics in an environment that is deteriorating around you. If we had compromised them, we could have done much better, grown much faster, and perhaps been regarded as much more successful in the pure business sense. But we would have lost the one differentiation that this group has against others in the country. We would have been just another venal business house.

I have been involved with South Africa for perhaps seven or eight years. There was such an enormous disparity between rich and poor, and I always felt that this large poor community had been exploited over the years. So I met [Thabo] Mbeki before he became president—this was in [Nelson] Mandela's time—and I said we really wanted to do something in South Africa to give to the country rather than take away from it.

We have been a very measured, very cautious group, which has looked at the market, decided what was safe, and then moved in. We need instead to lead and not just follow. We have to take more risks and gain predominance in that manner. Targeting the larger part of the income pyramid is an important part of what Tata will be doing.